Faculty & Staff Information

Return to Campus Guidelines

Updated July 16, 2021

On July 1, the Alberta Government lifted all COVID public health restrictions. With this in mind and with the return of in-person classes planned for the fall, the University has developed and will continue to evolve a Return to Campus Plan.

Engineering has reviewed the University’s plan and is in the process of developing a detailed, staged, return-to-campus plan for our faculty and staff. Below you will find information that is relevant to you in the various roles you may hold within the faculty.

Campus will be fully operational in September:

  • The University expects up to 40,000 people on campus
  • 80% of the student population will be back on campus
  • University buildings will be open during normal operational hours
  • Food and retail services will be open
  • Campus recreation services will be at near-normal operating levels
  • Campus events excluding classes and meetings will be limited in the fall
Overall Community Guidelines
  • The University of Alberta will not require students, staff or faculty to be vaccinated, however, all members of the university community are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before returning.
  • Engineering strongly recommends that all faculty, staff and students wear masks in the common areas of Engineering buildings, including elevators, stairwells, hallways and common gathering spaces during the summer months and into September. Masks are still required in labs, research spaces and field vehicles until the end of August. These directives will be revisited in late September.
  • Social distancing practices will not be required in September.
  • Continued use of infection control practices are strongly encouraged, including the wearing of masks, hand hygiene, sneeze and cough best practices, self-monitoring for signs of illness, and staying home at any signs of illness.
  • The University indicated that campus buildings comply with provincial public health guidance for ventilation.
  • Engineering will continue to provide cleaning services to enhance that which is provided by the University. 

When to come back

  • The person you report to (supervisor, manager, director, etc) will advise you in writing of the date you are to return. If you have a concern with returning to campus or the date of return, please speak to your supervisor and discuss options.

What to do before you come back:

  • Complete the Returning to Campus 2021 e-course or the Return to Campus Refresher Training if you have already completed the first e-course. Submit the completion certificate to your supervisor.
  • Document the items that you have taken home to support remote work – computers, printers, furniture etc. and make a plan for returning those items. 
  • Valid ONEcards/issued keys are required for access. Ensure your ONEcard is current (check expiry date on the back) and if not, renewal instructions are here. Any challenges with access can be addressed with your department’s access administrator.
  • Parking: If you suspended your monthly permit, you will have received a notice about options for renewal directly from parking services. For all other permit purchases or inquiries visit parking services. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the Safety Measures General Directives
  • Everyday use the Alberta Health Daily Checklist to determine fitness for work. If you are not feeling well, you are to stay home. 
  • Use here@alberta to log your attendance in case there is a need to contact you regarding a possible COVID exposure.
For Currently Approved Research

In Engineering, we are planning a staged return to research operations to ensure the health and safety of our community. We will be bringing research back to full pre-pandemic operations, first by increasing occupancy for currently approved activities (July 1) and then a return to full research operations (July 19).

Please read the following carefully and speak to your department chair and/or department manager if you have questions.

If you have already been approved for research on campus:

Effective July 1, the occupancy limit in approved labs will be increased to 12 sqm/person, which is double the current occupancy limits that are in place. Occupancy limits can be found here.

Before additional people join your lab:

  • All occupants must complete the Return to Campus Refresher Training.
  • When you have received confirmation that occupants have completed the Return to Campus Refresher training, update ARISE registrations, and include all research staff, and students.
  • A one-time mandatory self-inspection for your research space must be completed. Complete the self-inspection process for your department: 
    • If you are part of Chemical and Materials Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering please use the Planned Inspections database located on the Engineering Intranet. Details can be found here.
    • If you are part of Electrical and Computer Engineering, or Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering please use the Self-Inspection Google form
    • If you have any questions or concerns please contact Engineering Facilities and Safety Team (enggplan@ualberta.ca).
  • Every day before coming to campus - complete the AHS health check. If you are sick, DO NOT come to campus.
  • Masks are still required in labs, research spaces and field vehicles until the end of August.
  • Valid ONEcards/issued keys are required for access. Ensure your ONEcard is current (check expiry date on the back) and if not, renewal instructions are here. Any challenges with access can be addressed with your department’s access administrator.
  • Follow isolation requirements if unwell, experiencing symptoms, or testing positive.
  • Contingency plans and ability to shutdown/suspend operations in 24-48 hours are still required for all research groups if an outbreak should occur.
  • Contract tracing and rapid response plan is still in place to track cases/outbreaks if they occur.
For Research Resuming July 19

In Engineering, we are planning a staged return to research operations to ensure the health and safety of our community. We will be bringing research back to full pre-pandemic operations, first by increasing occupancy for currently approved activities (July 1) and then a return to full research operations (July 19).

Please read the following carefully and speak to your department chair and/or department manager if you have questions.

Faculty members (academics) not yet approved for work on campus:

Effective July 19, all faculty members (academics) will be permitted to return to working on campus after meeting the following requirements:

  • Complete the Returning to Campus 2021 e-course.
  • Every day before coming to campus - complete the AHS health check. If you are sick, DO NOT come to campus.
  • Valid ONEcards/issued keys are required for access. Ensure your ONEcard is current (check expiry date on the back) and if not, renewal instructions are here. Any challenges with access can be addressed with your department’s access administrator.
  • Once the PI receives a confirmation of completion for the Return to Campus 2021 Training for all lab occupants, the ARISE database must be updated by the PI to reflect all occupants of the lab. The FACA’s will then grant access.
  • A one-time mandatory self-inspection for your research space must be completed. To complete a self inspection you have the following options based on your department:
    • If you are part of Chemical and Materials Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering please use the Planned Inspections database located on the Engineering Intranet. Details can be found here.
    • If you are part of Electrical and Computer Engineering, or Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering please use the Self-Inspection Google form.
    • If you have any questions or concerns please contact Engineering Facilities and Safety Team (enggplan@ualberta.ca).
  • Masks are still required in labs, research spaces and field vehicles until the end of August.
  • Follow isolation requirements if unwell, experiencing symptoms, or testing positive.
  • Contingency plans and ability to shutdown/suspend operations in 24-48 hours are still required for all research groups if an outbreak should occur.
  • Contract tracing and rapid response plan is still in place to track cases/outbreaks if they occur.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please ensure you have also read through the overall guidelines above as applicable.

Will Engineering buildings be unlocked/open July 19th?

All Engineering buildings will remain closed to the public until September when all university buildings will be open according to normal schedules. ONEcards or proximity cards will be required for access.

Will cards be enabled for all faculty accounts?

Any individual user/occupant access is controlled by the home department. Each department has at least one access administrator (FACA) who will need to grant access. Please contact your department administration team for the appropriate path for making access changes.

Is there a bulk way to re-enable all of the cards that are disabled?

Bulk changes introduce security challenges. Having the FACA’s update access allows us to ensure the necessary pre-entry steps (ARISE, RTC training, etc.) have been completed.

Are existing graduate student desks open on July 19th?

At the discretion of the departments, graduate student desks can be made available if their on campus activities are supporting research that cannot be performed as effectively remotely. Whenever reasonably possible, working remotely is preferred until August 16, 2021.

Departments may have planned staged returns for graduate students considering the backlog of new desk assignments in the past 16 months. Specific details about these stages are still being developed and will be communicated by each Department as soon as it is available to share.

When will everything be open and back to normal?

We expect the majority of all access to be fully granted by the end of August 2021. The remaining members of our community will return to campus by January 2022.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about operations until we are back to normal?

Contact your direct supervisor with any questions you have.

What about visiting professors and post docs?

At the discretion of the departments, visiting professors and post docs can be permitted access after July 19. They will receive information about returning to campus timing and requirements from their associated departments.

Still have questions?

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Key Dates

The return to campus for Engineering will occur as follows:

July 1 – current approved research labs will be permitted to increase occupancy. All other faculty and staff must continue to work remotely.

July 19 – All faculty (academic) members will be permitted to return to campus and all research labs will be opened to full capacity. There are requirements to be met prior to returning to campus – these will be shared in advance of July 19.

August 1 – staff who have roles critical to the resumption of in-person classes will begin to return to campus. You will receive notice of your return date from your supervisor with instructions and information to support your return. 

September 1 to 15 – There will be no return dates scheduled in this time frame.

October and December – Faculty and staff who have not returned to campus in August will return, with the goal of having all employees return by January 2022.


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The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta is home to approximately: 200 faculty members who teach, mentor students and conduct leading-edge research; 150 professional and support staff who provide technical, administrative, management, information technology, student, and teaching support and services; 120 research professional and operational staff who support the research initiatives in the Departments and Faculty; and other teaching and research professionals.

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